FGD: Seeing Stars

Ryan Pike
February 13 2013 01:54PM

For seemingly the zillionth time this hockey season, your Calgary Flames face-off at home with a team that played the night before (usually in a different city). Okay, it's only the third time, but the Flames haven't won one of these games yet. And with the quarter-pole of the season looming on Friday night, the club desperately needs to cash in on some of these opportunities.

Tonight's opportunity pits the 3-4-3 Flames against the 7-5-1 Dallas Stars.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames are still without the services of goalkeeper Miikka Kiprusoff, centre Mikael Backlund and winger Sven Baertschi. Paul Byron (wearing #32) and Joey MacDonald (wearing #35) will make their 2013 Flames debuts, although MacDonald will merely replace Danny Taylor opening the gate. The biggest boost is that Mike Cammalleri will return to the Flames line-up after missing a few games due to a hip flexor injury.

Wednesday's skate was an optional, but on Tuesday Steve Begin was between Glencross and Iginla and Baertschi was between Cammalleri and Stempniak. In reality, we're guessing they'll line up something like this.

  • Hudler – Tanguay – Cervenka
  • Glencross – Stajan – Iginla
  • Cammalleri – Byron – Stempniak
  • Comeau – Jones – Jackman

  • Giordano – Bouwmeester
  • Brodie – Wideman
  • Sarich – Butler

  • Irving

Cammalleri should give Calgary an offensive boost, assuing he returns to the line-up a better player than when he left it. Byron showed some great chemistry with Stempniak when he was up last season, so maybe he can do some damage rather than just be a warm body. That sure is a line of smaller guys though.

Sarich replaces Smith for the second straight game on the back-end while Steve Begin sits out up front. Anton Babchuk is more or less ready to go, but remains in the presssbox.

THE OPPOSITION

The Stars played last night and did a lot to get Flames fans on their side as they beat the Oilers up in Shelbyville by a 4-1 score. Dallas boasts a slew of familiar faces, including one of two active NHLers with more career goals than Jarome Iginla in the ageless Jaromir Jagr. Also contributing in Dallas is former Flames first rounder Eric Nystrom.

From our friends at Defending Big D, a stab at the lines:

  • Morrow-Benn-Jagr
  • Eriksson-Roy-Ryder
  • Smith-Eakin-Vincour
  • Nystrom-Fiddler-Garbutt

  • Dillon-Robidas
  • Rome-Daley
  • Goligoski-Larsen

  • Bachman

One of the fourth liners may cycle out for Wandell or Roussel and Oleksiak might swap in for Larsen.

Jamie Benn has returned the line-up and put together strong counting stats and underlying numbers as well. With him in the fold the Stars top six is pretty strong, alhough there are some useful players (albeit with limited offensive upside) in their bottom six as well.

Things get a bit dodgy on the back end, and its likely that the Flames will be seeing back-up netminder Richard Bachman (career stats: 8-6-1, 2.68 GAA, .913 S% and 1 shutout). He's not quite Kari Lehtonen, but he's got more games under his belt and better numbers than Leland Irving.

SUM IT UP

Dallas has a pretty strong team and they're not missing any big guns (well, besides Ray Whitney). With them having played the night before, there will be no better opportunity for the Flames to get two points. Of course, with the Flames missing their starting goalie, top rookie and their best possession center, they are by no means guaranteed success.

 

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Now in his fourth season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers and the Wrestling Observer.
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#151 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 10:14PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Sure, but he had a body of work which suggested he'd improve. Irving is a lifetime .909 goalie in the AHL. There's no reason to think he'll improve.

Haha but still better than Kipper this year!

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#152 schevvy
February 13 2013, 10:14PM
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Sarich is brutal

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#153 jeremywilhelm
February 13 2013, 10:21PM
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Stupid Cervenka!

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#154 jeremywilhelm
February 13 2013, 10:21PM
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Think how good Cervenka and Tanguay would look with O'Reilly.

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#155 jeremywilhelm
February 13 2013, 10:22PM
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Jebus, they really look terrible in third. Wake up boys, this game is gonna slip away.

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#156 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 10:27PM
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I love it when Iggy throws body shots haha

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#157 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 10:28PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Stupid Cervenka!

Shut your infidel mouth Wilhelm!!

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#158 Wizard22
February 13 2013, 10:28PM
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@schevvy

I'm kind of interested to see if Babchuk would be better. I think he could possibly fit in better with Hartley's systems

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#159 vowswithin
February 13 2013, 10:29PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

I love it when Iggy throws body shots haha

It was a mistake to wake up iggy ;)

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#160 jeremywilhelm
February 13 2013, 10:30PM
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Stupid Jamie Benn, why couldn't Iggy take you off the ice!

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#161 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 10:30PM
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vowswithin wrote:

It was a mistake to wake up iggy ;)

Warrener is probably happy he's not playing for the Stars tonight.

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#162 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 10:34PM
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Stars are pressing hard here.

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#163 negrilcowboy
February 13 2013, 10:37PM
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vowswithin wrote:

It was a mistake to wake up iggy ;)

makes ya wonder just how much iggy was doggin it until he was called out in the media and people actually questioned the captains attitude.

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#164 Gunk
February 13 2013, 10:41PM
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way to go cammy!

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#165 schevvy
February 13 2013, 10:41PM
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Hatty! #200

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#166 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 10:42PM
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haha, Cammy you selfish bastard.

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#167 schevvy
February 13 2013, 10:42PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

haha, Cammy you selfish bastard.

You say that like it's a bad thing

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#168 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 10:44PM
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Guys, Iginla played all of 12 minutes tonight and almost all of them aginst third liners. He looked fine, but it's not like he has suddenly broken out or anything.

So let's not talk about him being awoken by Warrener or some such.

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#169 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 10:46PM
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I had the chances 6-4 in the third for DAL. Final count: 20-17 CGY.

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#170 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 10:46PM
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@schevvy

Nah but I would give him a hard time on the bench if I was on his team.

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#171 negrilcowboy
February 13 2013, 10:49PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Guys, Iginla played all of 12 minutes tonight and almost all of them aginst third liners. He looked fine, but it's not like he has suddenly broken out or anything.

So let's not talk about him being awoken by Warrener or some such.

agreed he faced the weaker comp but he did seem to be a bit more involved perhaps a bit of negative press and people aware of his antics he picked it up a knotch. makes ya wonder what kinda leader he realy is. in no way did anyone poke the bear they spoke the truth something that msm seems to lack.

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#172 lionlager
February 13 2013, 10:49PM
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Cammy. So hot right now. Cammy.

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#173 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 10:50PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I had the chances 6-4 in the third for DAL. Final count: 20-17 CGY.

What xperiod did I get wrong Kent for SC's?

Cgy - Dal
10 5
6 6
6 4

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#174 schevvy
February 13 2013, 10:55PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

What xperiod did I get wrong Kent for SC's?

Cgy - Dal
10 5
6 6
6 4

Flip the 6-4 buddy

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#175 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 10:55PM
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@Vintage Flame

Nevermind.. I reversed the third period numbers..

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#176 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 10:56PM
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schevvy wrote:

Flip the 6-4 buddy

;)

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#177 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 10:56PM
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Off to write the postgame.. Night all

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#178 schevvy
February 13 2013, 10:56PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Guys, Iginla played all of 12 minutes tonight and almost all of them aginst third liners. He looked fine, but it's not like he has suddenly broken out or anything.

So let's not talk about him being awoken by Warrener or some such.

I'm guessing the 12 minutes is influenced by the length of time he was in the box. He was engaged though, that's for sure, and made two gorgeous feeds.

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#179 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 11:04PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Guys, Iginla played all of 12 minutes tonight and almost all of them aginst third liners. He looked fine, but it's not like he has suddenly broken out or anything.

So let's not talk about him being awoken by Warrener or some such.

Being the devils advocate I'm sure you could argue either way, although he did seem generally agitated/engaged, had two assists and three SOG. He's not the same player he was but you say yourself he's bound to get back to his average numbers at some point.

The plot thickens! Did his trade value go up? Will the flames make the playoffs, is Cammalleri everyones favourite flame now, tune in Friday! Haha.

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#180 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 11:12PM
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Are we the team that gets everyone's backup goalie now? How many is that now, Emery, Bobrovsky (arguably, they've both played seven), Bachman, Giguere, both Van goalies...that's quite a few in 12 games.

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#181 Chillout
February 13 2013, 11:17PM
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Those of you who say Iginla is a bad leader and useless whatever, I think the problem is more in that he hasn't won here and year after year it's been the same old crap. It's like a marriage that's over and everybody knows except the ones involved. If he gets traded to a pittsburgh or some team like that just watch how it changes him. Man is probably depressed and doesn't even know it but has his safety net of the calgary flames and doesn't want to let it go.

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#182 FlameinATL
February 13 2013, 11:22PM
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Great effort tonight Flames.

Not to play what if, but this team is a little luck, 3 seconds against Chicago and some decent goaltending from having a fine record. We are better on faceoffs,we pass better, move the puck better, shoot better and our PP is becoming a force. On top of that,we are well-coached and resilient.

I see good things on the horizon.

Get behind this team Calgary.

Go Flames!

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#183 Jai Kiran
February 13 2013, 11:40PM
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FlameinATL wrote:

Great effort tonight Flames.

Not to play what if, but this team is a little luck, 3 seconds against Chicago and some decent goaltending from having a fine record. We are better on faceoffs,we pass better, move the puck better, shoot better and our PP is becoming a force. On top of that,we are well-coached and resilient.

I see good things on the horizon.

Get behind this team Calgary.

Go Flames!

I agree with almost all of that, but lets be honest and say the PK has been disastrous, the goaltending has been so-so to awful and we ARE better on faceoffs but only coz we were so terrible before.

I see the potential of good things on the horizon.

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#184 thymebalm
February 14 2013, 12:45AM
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Another iffy game by Irving but fans still seem to defend him to the end.

Not the horse I'd bet on, even if he's 2-1-1 around the first bend.

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